October 2009

Tara McCormack Thursday 1 October 2009 comments

Are we witnessing ‘the rise of the rest’?

The elevation of the G20 over the G8 has prompted talk of an international power shift. The reality is more complicated.

Tim Black Thursday 1 October 2009 comments

Feral kids: ‘confident, cocky and in control’?

Brown’s latest declaration of war on antisocial behaviour expolits today’s widespread adult fear of children.

Emily Hill Thursday 1 October 2009 comments

Sarah Brown: celebrity wife

Gordon Brown once rejected the politics of celebrity, now his wife hangs out with Paris Hilton.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 1 October 2009 comments

Not all migrants are scruffy, dirty victims

Yes, the residents of the Calais ‘jungle’ have been treated badly, but the no borders case requires a defence of everyone’s right to move.

David Berkley Friday 2 October 2009 comments

Violence, drugs and Appalachian dancing

White Lightnin’, about ‘dancing outlaw’ Jesco White, is a moving film. If only it didn’t romanticise mental illness.

Rob Lyons Friday 2 October 2009 comments

Audley Harrison: a cautionary tale

How did the man who won Olympic gold in 2000 fail so spectacularly to become a professional champion?

Ann Furedi Friday 2 October 2009 comments

Let’s stand up to ‘supernanny’

Jennie Bristow’s important, engaging and witty book both explains and critiques the tsunami of state meddling in family affairs.

Bruno Waterfield Monday 5 October 2009 comments

A hollow victory for the Yes campaigners

Bruno Waterfield reports from Brussels on how the EU’s determination to ‘win’ the Irish vote has damaged its standing.

Jason Walsh Monday 5 October 2009 comments

‘Both sides indulged in scaremongering’

Jason Walsh reports from Dublin where it seems neither the Yes camp nor the No camp voted with much enthusiasm.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 5 October 2009 comments

A defeat for the democratic instinct

The Second Irish Referendum: the Irish people have spoken, yes, but in the voice of someone put into a headlock by far more powerful forces.

Tim Black Tuesday 6 October 2009 comments

Strictly No Racism – even in private

The reaction to dancer Anton du Beke’s dodgy joke shows that official ‘anti-racism’ is an insidious form of censorship.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 6 October 2009 comments

Weighing into family life — again

Obesity campaigners want all expectant parents to be weighed. We should tell them to get stuffed.

Jennie Bristow Tuesday 6 October 2009 comments

Population reduction: a war on women’s bodies

Pro-choice activists must defend women’s reproductive rights against those who say we should curb population growth to save the planet.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 7 October 2009 comments

Are the supermarkets killing British food?

Debate: The big chains seem more popular than ever, but are they strangling small businesses and consumer choice?

Matthias Heitmann Wednesday 7 October 2009 comments

No end in sight for Bundestagnation

Angela Merkel’s victory puts an end to the inertia of the Grand Coalition, but German politics still lacks dynamism.

Mick Hume Wednesday 7 October 2009 comments

The Tories have changed – but not for the better

Forget the left’s fantasies about the return of Thatcherism. New Conservatives or New Labour, they are all accountants now.

Tom Slater Thursday 8 October 2009 comments

The indie scene is fun, but it isn’t radical

A new documentary about the music festival All Tomorrow’s Parties tries far too hard to stand up to ‘the man’.

Tim Black Thursday 8 October 2009 comments

Tory leader in ‘drinking champagne’ shock!

When appearance is everything in politics, even David Cameron enjoying a glass of bubbly can become a scandal.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 8 October 2009 comments

What do you think: is this child porn or art?

Nathalie Rothschild took the banned picture of Brooke Shields back to the Tate Modern to let gallery visitors decide for themselves.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 9 October 2009 comments

Watching football is not a civil right

Yes it’s irritating that Ukraine vs England will only be shown on the internet. But a ‘national disgrace’? Hardly.

Patrick West Friday 9 October 2009 comments

‘To coventrate’: destroy a city from the air

A documentary about the Luftwaffe bombing of Coventry in 1940 challenged prejudices about both Germans and Brits.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Friday 9 October 2009 comments

Stop this witch hunt against ‘evil deniers’

Labelling everyone from critics of the AIDS industry to anti-vaccine cranks as ‘deniers’ is a way of shutting down debate and dissent.

Guy Rundle Monday 12 October 2009 comments

Jackson Jive: the return of Aussie racism?

Australia’s bizarre TV ‘black face’ scandal springs more from the politics of identity than old-fashioned racism.

Gordon Hughes Monday 12 October 2009 comments

The wrong answer to climate change

It would be wiser, and cheaper, to adapt to climate change rather than to slash CO2 emissions by 70 per cent.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 12 October 2009 comments

How Hillary became Empress of Ireland

Hillary Clinton’s head-knocking visit to the Six Counties confirms that Washington has successfully conquered both Ireland and Britain.

Shane O’Neill Tuesday 13 October 2009 comments

Hey, union, leave us kids alone!

The NUS’s offer of free alcoholic drinks to students who agree to have STI tests reveals its prudish anti-sex tendencies.

Nancy McDermott Tuesday 13 October 2009 comments

Circumcision: cut the crap

‘Intactivists’ who claim that being circumcised abused their human rights, and ruined their sex lives, should get a grip.

Mick Hume Tuesday 13 October 2009 comments

Brighton bomb memories

How the world has changed since I was bizarrely accused of involvement in the IRA attack on the Tory cabinet 25 years ago this week.

Tim Black Wednesday 14 October 2009 comments

New Labour’s phoney battle with fascism

The more the party’s crisis deepens, the more it cynically ups the ante against a far-right phantasm.

Patrick Marmion Wednesday 14 October 2009 comments

Exit stage right, pursued by a banker

Former Communist David Hare is now a knight of the realm, yet his play on the recession is his most radical to date.

Wendy Kaminer Wednesday 14 October 2009 comments

Why libertarians should support the right to die

In the US, the war on drugs and federal heavy-handedness are limiting a doctor’s ability to help patients in exceptional pain.

Emily Hill Thursday 15 October 2009 comments

Jane Austen meets Sex and the City

A new BBC adaptation of Emma abandons Austen’s barbed wit in favour of 21st-century dating psychobabble.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 15 October 2009 comments

A naked assault on our right to privacy

Airport scanners that will ogle our naked bodies are only a more hi-tech version of everyday state surveillance.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 15 October 2009 comments

The self-destruction of the House of Commons

The mock-populist backlash on parliamentary expenses poses a serious threat not only to MPs’ bank balances, but to democracy itself.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 16 October 2009 comments

It’s not true that ‘black men can’t coach’

Just as black players proved themselves on the pitch, so black managers should prove themselves in the dugout.

Patrick West Friday 16 October 2009 comments

Giving animals human motivations: that’s Life

Like so many nature series, David Attenborough’s latest show is visually stunning but built on childish storytelling.

Emily Hill Friday 16 October 2009 comments

‘Welcome to the rohypnol conference’

Emily Hill watched the Tories in Manchester swig fizz, dodge photographers and talk about as little as possible.

Sean Collins Friday 16 October 2009 comments

We’re all Keynesians now? I’m not

Robert Skidelsky’s book on Keynes gives a good account of today’s economic crisis. But its faith in the ‘master’ of economic debate is misplaced.

Mark Adnum Monday 19 October 2009 comments

Stop presenting gays as whiter than white

The editor of a gay website says that, beneath her prejudice and inaccuracy, Jan Moir kind of had a point.

Tim Black Monday 19 October 2009 comments

I am offended, therefore I am

The overblown reaction to Jan Moir’s bilious column about Stephen Gately shows offence now trumps open debate.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 19 October 2009 comments

The fight to re-enfranchise the electorate starts here

If the next General Election is to have any real impact, it must be turned from a technical affair into a big, loud public debate about the future.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 20 October 2009 comments

Recycling: an eco-ritual we should bin

Reprocessing waste might one day be cost-effective, but for now it's a moralistic reminder that humans are greedy.

Stuart Blackman Tuesday 20 October 2009 comments

Climate change is not beyond questioning

A BBC News journalist's willingness to report more than climate orthodoxy should be encouraged not condemned.

Tim Black Tuesday 20 October 2009 comments

Off with their head of state

New Labour’s craven justification for maintaining the Royal Prerogative shows that today’s political class doesn’t trust the people – or itself.

Tara McCormack Wednesday 21 October 2009 comments

An Afghan farce, produced in the West

For Hamid Karzai to justify the West’s unjustified war, the Afghan presidential elections had to be rigged.

Thomas McMahon Wednesday 21 October 2009 comments

What do family courts have to hide?

Opening up UK family courts to the public will not lead to social worker witch-hunts, but to greater public trust.

Mick Hume Wednesday 21 October 2009 comments

They couldn’t manage a mail service in a post office

Behind the UK postal dispute is the spectre of privatisation and the authorities’ inability to take responsibility for basic state services.

Sarnath Banerjee Thursday 22 October 2009 comments

A tragi-comic censorship campaign

Cartoonist Sarnath Banerjee illustrates how a website about a sexy Indian sister-in-law got the censors hot under the collar.

Tim Black Thursday 22 October 2009 comments

‘Voltaire never saw concentration camps’

Tim Black reports from a radical-left anti-BNP rally at which free speech was denounced as ‘nonsense’.

Sean Collins Thursday 22 October 2009 comments

This isn’t a recovery. It’s an Obama Bubble

Just because the Dow Jones Industrial Average recently reached 10,000, that doesn’t mean the US economy is springing back to life.

Rob Lyons Friday 23 October 2009 comments

Life’s a beachball, and then you die

Eight weeks in and Liverpool’s season might already be over – thanks, in part, to a little comedy intervention.

Patrick West Friday 23 October 2009 comments

‘My name’s Josie... and I have a penis’

Age 8 and Wanting a Sex Change took an unusually empathic look at ‘gender dysphoria’ amongst children.

Patrick Hayes Friday 23 October 2009 comments

‘Would the BBC give a platform to Hitler?’

Patrick Hayes joined the rabble of censors protesting outside BBC Television Centre in the run-up to Question Time.

Alex Hochuli Friday 23 October 2009 comments

Hating Nick: a shared national experience

Alex Hochuli reports from a London university that showed Question Time on a big screen in a bar, football-style.

Brendan O’Neill Friday 23 October 2009 comments

The new divide in British politics: Us and Him

Question Time was no victory for rigorous and free debate – it merely confirmed Nick Griffin’s elevation as the voodoo doll of public life.

Guy Rundle Monday 26 October 2009 comments

The calm before the immigration storm?

The lack of hysteria at a new influx of refugee boats to Australia has disappointed pro- and anti-refugee groups alike.

Basham and Luik Monday 26 October 2009 comments

NYC: the city that never smokes

A proposal to ban lighting up in New York’s parks has exposed the puritanical agenda behind the crusade against smoking.

Nathalie Rothschild Monday 26 October 2009 comments

‘Rescue’: a new PC term for repatriation

As the sex-trafficking scare is exposed as a tissue of lies, Nathalie Rothschild spells out the need for full freedom of movement for migrants.

Tim Black Tuesday 27 October 2009 comments

The cheap thrill of global warming

Ed Miliband’s ‘climate map’ confirms that climate change is the only thing providing New Labour with a sense of mission.

Tiffany Jenkins Tuesday 27 October 2009 comments

Artists, resist this propagandist agenda

In a speech for the Battle of Ideas, Tiffany Jenkins argued that cultural diplomacy leads to bad art and bad politics.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Tuesday 27 October 2009 comments

Making a pig’s ear of the vaccination debate

People are right to be sceptical about the swine-flu scare, but it is telling – and worrying – that they focus their scepticism on swine-flu jabs.

Tim Black Wednesday 28 October 2009 comments

If comedians can’t be offensive, who can?

Jimmy Carr is only the latest public figure to fall victim to the ‘offence hounds’ who love being scandalised.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 28 October 2009 comments

Why they love to hate Mother Teresa

The radical-atheist assaults on the late sister of Calcutta are the intellectual equivalent of mugging an old woman.

Mick Hume Wednesday 28 October 2009 comments

Why do they all want to hijack Churchill?

The ‘would Churchill have supported the BNP?’ furore says more about politics today than it does about the role of ‘our hero’ in history.

Duleep Allirajah Thursday 29 October 2009 comments

In defence of terrace abuse

The arguments that football fans have become too abusive and more inclined to violence don’t stack up.

Patrick West Thursday 29 October 2009 comments

Steve McQueen, without the car chase

BBC Radio 4’s brave choice to rework the ultra-visual Bullitt showed that old-school noir can still be entertaining.

Rob Lyons Thursday 29 October 2009 comments

Go veggie to ‘save the planet’? Burger off!

The Stern-endorsed campaign to stop people eating meat shows that greens have no solutions for society beyond launching wars on enjoyment.

Suzy Dean Friday 30 October 2009 comments

A book to set democratic alarm bells ringing

Martin Bell’s account of the expenses scandal has insights, but his willingness to embrace infringements upon parliamentary sovereignty in the name of restoring trust denigrates democracy.

James Woudhuysen Friday 30 October 2009 comments

State intervention is no substitute for innovation

British industry isn’t dead by any means, but if low-carbon jobs and protectionism trump new research and development, it soon will be.

Rob Lyons Friday 30 October 2009 comments

Cooking up a new theory of evolution

With his smaller teeth and jaws, what separated Homo erectus from his predecessors was not just eating meat, but cooking what he caught.

Nathalie Rothschild Friday 30 October 2009 comments

Seeing Sweden through the eyes of Stieg Larsson

Larsson’s hugely popular Millennium novels are not only brilliant page-turners – they also challenge the clapped-out view of Sweden as a social paradise peopled by buxom blondes and depressives.

Tim Black Friday 30 October 2009 comments

The drawn-out decay of the capitalist class

Richard Overy’s splendid new book on the ‘morbid age’ of the 1920s and 30s sheds light on the emergence of a profound crisis of confidence amongst the bourgeoisie – a crisis that has never quite gone away.

Stuart Derbyshire Friday 30 October 2009 comments

Farewell, Norman Levitt

With the passing of Norman Levitt, a rigorous defender of scientific truth against the relativism and cowardice of the ‘academic left’, we have lost a modern Enlightenment hero.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Friday 30 October 2009 comments

The anti-smoking ‘truth regime’ that cannot be questioned

Two new books expose how epidemiology has been used as a tool of propaganda in the war on tobacco – and woe betide anyone who tries to inject some real facts into the debate.

Sean Collins Friday 30 October 2009 comments

China and America: the economic Odd Couple

Stephen Roach provides some useful, counterintuitive insights into the economic relationship between America and China, but too often uses the term ‘global imbalance’ as a euphemism for ‘US decline’.

Jennie Bristow Friday 30 October 2009 comments

Why pedagogy is in peril

Frank Furedi, author of the new book Wasted: Why Education Isn’t Educating, talks to Jennie Bristow about the politicisation of education and the crisis of adult authority.